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China and UK lead business mobility survey

By ANGUS McNEICE | China Daily UK | Updated: 2017-09-01 10:35

China remains the second-most popular destination in the world for business trips and short-term work transfers, according to new survey data.

London-based relocation firm Santa Fe Relocation Services gathered data from 929 companies responsible for managing more than 500,000 business travelers for its annual Global Mobility Survey.

The survey revealed that 18 percent of international business trips made this year were to the US, up 2 percent on 2016. China came second with 11 percent, a decline of 1 percent, while 8 percent were to the UK, a rise of 1 percent.

Singapore and Germany were the next most popular destinations, on 5 percent each.

John Rason, Santa Fe's global head of consulting, said China's increasingly open economic environment has played an important role in attracting business.

"Working in China allows greater access to the Asia Pacific market place, which is increasingly important for a number of sectors and industries," Rason said. "From a connectivity point of view its transportation networks make travelling between countries easier than ever."

He said China has provided "considerable incentives" to attract foreign investment and encourage relocation.

"All this has provided the catalyst for China's growing popularity as an international place for commerce," he added.

The survey found that despite business uncertainty surrounding the UK's decision to leave the European Union, the UK remains a popular international destination, with one in 10 business assignments arranged for the UK.

The number of business trips originating in the UK was 9 percent, compared with 13 percent in 2016. Business trips from China grew from 6 percent in 2016 to 7 percent.

"Despite intense speculation around Britain's standing in the world, this new report shows Britain is still open for business," said Neil Bothams, Santa Fe's regional chief executive for Europe.

Regarding the decline in business trips from the UK, Bothams said "some UK-based companies are utilizing other shorter-term approaches including business traveler solutions and are more hesitant about committing to long term assignment programs."

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